Do you think of Thanksgiving as a time of healing? Most often when we think about the Thanksgiving holiday we think about food, family, travel or stress related to holidays.
What if giving thanks was the focus of this holiday? How would it change your life?
I thought I would share some research that studied gratitude and its positive affects on personal health.
A 10-week study on gratitude by researchers from the University of California, Davis and the University of Miami found that participants who wrote about gratitude each day were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. They exercised more and visited the doctor less.
Gratitude can also improve relationships between ourselves and others. A study of couples who expressed gratitude for one another showed that they felt more positive about one another and were more comfortable discussing concerns about relationship.
The University of Pennsylvania studied relationships between managers and their employees. Managers that expressed gratitude to their employees for their work had a 50 percent increase in productivity over employees that didn’t receive the appreciation for their work.
The University of California, Berkeley has studied over 1,000 people who have been keeping gratitude journals. They have found that gratitude brings the following benefits:
• People have stronger immune systems
• People are less bothered by aches and pains
• People have lower blood pressure
• People exercise more and take better care of their health
• People sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• People have higher levels of positive emotions
• People are more alert, alive, and awake
• People have more joy and pleasure
• People have more optimism and happiness
• People are more helpful, generous, and compassionate
• People are more forgiving
• People are more outgoing
• People feel less lonely and isolated
During this holiday season, giving thanks could change your perspective and your health. Take some time to think about how you can have more gratitude in your life.